Amazon Prime Video launches watch party feature amid social distancing

The watch party feature in action.
The watch party feature in action.

Image: amazon prime video

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Amazon Prime Video is upping its game in the socially distanced streaming wars.

On Monday, the streaming service announced it would begin rolling out a new watch party feature, allowing as many as 100 participants to synchronize their viewing from anywhere within the United States. Hulu launched a similar feature last month after HBO announced its official partnership with “virtual movie theater” Scener amid the global pandemic. (Scener also supports Netflix watch party functionality via plug-in, but doesn’t work with the streaming giant to provide it.) 

Like its competitors, Prime Video allows watch parties exclusively through desktop for now — meaning you can’t use the feature on mobile phones, smart TVs, or gaming consoles. Prime Video watch parties are compatible with most browsers, excluding Safari, but all participants must be logged in with a Prime membership or Prime Video subscription. 

Ooooh, new button!

Ooooh, new button!

Image: amazon prime video

To begin, the party host, who controls playback features for their audience, can click “Watch Party” on any video-on-demand title included with Prime membership and share a private link with family and friends. (Titles streaming through rent or purchase are unavailable for watch parties.) From there, attendees can watch in tandem and message one another in the service’s chat room. 

You can learn more about Prime Video watch parties here.  

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